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Washington and Barmston War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Washington Central, Sunderland

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Latitude: 54.9034 / 54°54'12"N

Longitude: -1.5182 / 1°31'5"W

OS Eastings: 430993

OS Northings: 556623

OS Grid: NZ309566

Mapcode National: GBR KCVR.32

Mapcode Global: WHC45.N08T

Entry Name: Washington and Barmston War Memorial

Listing Date: 13 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1441367

Location: Sunderland, NE38

County: Sunderland

Metropolitan District Ward: Washington Central

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Sunderland

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Tyne and Wear

Church of England Parish: Washington

Church of England Diocese: Durham

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First World War memorial, unveiled 1920, with additions for later conflicts.


The memorial stands on the green, at the west end close to The Old Hall Smithy (Grade II). It takes the form of a tall Celtic cross in Heworth Bluestone. The front face of the cross is richly ornamented with carved interlace patterns. The cross shaft rises from the pedestal, square on plan, which stands on a five-stepped base.

The principal dedicatory inscription to the front face of the pedestal reads: 1914 – 1919/ SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF/ THOSE FROM THE PARISHES/ OF WASHINGTON AND BARMSTON/ WHO DIED FOR KING AND COUNTRY. Commemorated names are recorded below and to the other three faces. In a small blind panel on the front face of the cross shaft the dates 1939/ 1945 are recorded, with the Second World War names carved into the sides of the shaft. The more recent names, and five additional First World War names, are recorded to the rear of the shaft.

The paved war memorial enclosure now comprises a circular railing with gates to the front, replacing the original stepped and paved area with a garden to the rear.

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 24 February 2017.


The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across the country. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Washington as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorial was unveiled on 5th June 1920 by the Earl of Durham. It commemorates the 181 servicemen who died in the First World War. The memorial was designed by Mr Potts of Newcastle and sculpted by Mr JW Reed of Newcastle; the ironwork was provided by Messrs Emley and Sons; and the building contractor was Mr F Stokoe of Washington. The pond on the green was filled and the memorial built on the reclaimed land. Following the Second World War the details of 101 service personnel who died in that conflict were added. Soldiers who died in the Falklands War, the Gulf War, and in Iraq and in Afghanistan, have subsequently been added.

Reasons for Listing

Washington and Barmston War Memorial, which stands on The Green, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this local community, and the sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20 and C21;
* Architectural interest: a tall and richly ornamented cross in the Celtic style;
* Group value: with The Old Hall Smithy (Grade II-listed).

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